Hello everyone! Today was another amazing day! When we were asking God what he had for us today, we felt like He said "to stop for the one…strike up conversations… listen to people stories… listen with my ears." So with the expectation to hear people's stories, that's is exactly what happened nearly each time we stepped out today! Here's our different perspectives of our day!
Today was so exciting! It was really neat to see how we actually did hear people's stories. Every time I stopped today, it seemed like I was not only encouraging them, they were encouraging me. I am not going to list ever person I talked to day, but I do want to highlight a couple!
- When we were walking to Coney Island, we were walking through Brighton Beach and I noticed this dude and I went to go talk to him. I gave him an encouraging word and then he started asking me how I got to this point of my journey with boldness and other deep questions. I was nervous at first, but then decided to be brave and answer. As I was answering, I felt this ease and all the nervousness went away! While we were talking, I had a word of knowledge about his right knee being in pain. I felt like God was saying he was going to get healed even without praying for him. I said that out loud and he was like I will let you know about that is happening, I have to process/ think about this. He kept emphasizing that its all about unity and love and that it's cool that's what CB stands for! Such a neat experience!
- As I was standing in line to use the restroom at Starbucks, I ended striking up a conversation with the man in front of me! He said he was a professor and a Bishop. We ended up going outside and talking a bit. I gave him an encouraging word about smooth sailing in his life and he was really encouraged! By this time the rest of the group came outside and he told us how proud of us he was and how we are doing a good thing. In September, he's coming to Memphis and he said how he wanted to hit us up!
Today we got to meet and connect with a lot of different people. We had an expectation for the day that we were to stop and listen to people's stories. It's amazing how people open up when they realize you are not in a hurry and want to spend time talking with them. We got to listen to stories and bring encouragement to several people through out the day. We also did fun things like ride roller coasters at Coney Island and visit the Brooklyn Bridge! It was a great way to spend a day in New York City!
This morning, I bought a water bottle from a lady at a funnel cake stand in Coney Island. We didn't really talk, but she was like a breath of fresh air. Through carnival rides and ice cream, my thoughts kept returning to her. She was truly unforgettable.
Eventually, I sat down and wrote her a note. I asked someone from our group to come with me as I went back to find her. When we bought our water earlier, I heard her non-native English accent, but she didn't speak with any hesitation. So, when I found her, I started speaking to her right away, my pace being quickened due to my nerves.
"OK, OK." She stopped me after a moment and tried to figure out what to say to me. "No English?" I asked. "No English," she replied. "What language?" "Spanish." "Well, I speak a little," I ventured. I studied Spanish for seven years in high school and university, but haven't had to speak it much for quite some time. I'm very rusty. She proceeded (in Spanish) to tell me that her boss works at another stand, and I can go find him there if I need to speak to someone.
I couldn't let it end that way! Clumsily, I attempted to explain in her language who we are, and what we were doing. Although I sometimes confused my "sers" and "estars," and switched back and forth between "usted" and "tú," I think I got the general idea across. She wore a hat that said "Jesus is my friend," so I told her we are Christians, here to spread joy. Her face sweetly displayed surprise and curiosity when I told her she was "inolvidable" (unforgettable). "Maybe you have a friend who can read the note to you," I continued, still in Spanish. She nodded. "Qué Díos les bendiga," she blessed us, as we left.
As we walked away, I was filled with joy and awe. My communication may have been crude, inelegant; but God's goodness (and sneakiness) was so evident in the way He set up the situation. I felt incredibly blessed that, out of all the non-English speakers I could have spoken to — especially with a neighboring community known as "Little Russia" —, the woman He put on my heart spoke a language that I knew how to navigate. I feel trusted! God trusts me to love the people He puts in my path. What an honor!
Naomi and Kylie Jean's Story
Their video will be posted when we have internet where we can upload the videos! :(